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AMLO introduces funding for post-election health clinics in Mexico


(Bloomberg) — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday announced a plan to strengthen Mexico’s health care system, seeking to address a key voter complaint to his government after his party’s landslide election victory.

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Lopez Obrador said this plan would ensure that money passes through the state bank into the hands of committees that would oversee the use of the funds in clinics. Handouts to the more than 11,000 health centers identified as part of the plan earlier this year are for renovation, maintenance and basic equipment.

“We are going to start distributing aid to the committees set up to guarantee the people’s participation,” AMLO – as the president is known – said during his daily morning press conference on Tuesday. “It is a direct aid to the committee, a budget that they can use to meet the basic needs of the health center.”

Governors stated that benefits from “The Clinic Is Ours” program started at 400,000 pesos ($22,500) per health center, depending on the conditions at each health center. Campaign regulation generally prohibits government transfers in the run-up to elections, to avoid the appearance of voting interference.

Lopez Obrador is known for expanding the cash programs he targeted retirees and farmers during his time in office. He is seen as one of the main reasons for his successor Claudia Sheinbaum’s victory on Sunday. Both come from the ruling Morena party.

Seven governors gave video messages as part of the program’s launch, including those from the impoverished states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. Lopez Obrador has said he will embark on a tour of the country in September, focusing on his health plan.

(Update with information about governors and tour in the last paragraph.)

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